Building The Ultimate Gaming Rig
Money, meet mouth.
Hello. It’s been a while.
Stuff has happened. Exactly what, I won’t go into, at least not yet. But if you’re curious, poking around in some of the other sections of the site will give you a pretty good idea about what I’ve been up to lately. Said stuff has resulted in me having a bit more free time than I used to have, and to prevent my mind from devouring itself, hungry for the ifs and buts of the past, I need something to occupy it with.
Some of my newly involuntarily acquired spare time has been used on Netflix. As for something to keep the mind busy, it’s all right, but I can only stand to be a totally passive spectator for so long. I could read a book instead, which requires a bit more effort from the old nugget, but I’m a bit too restless to sit down with a book right now. I’ve also spent some time on the rower, and I’ve been going for lots of walks, both alone and with friends, but the body needs a break from time to time to recover.
So I decided to revive and old hobby that I just recently announced I’d grown tired of: Gaming.
The Ultimate Gaming Rig?
To play video games, I need some hardware. Purchasing a console isn’t really my thing, because I can’t play the games I want to play on them. I used to have a work laptop that was also a decent gaming laptop, but that was recently replaced with a MacBook Pro, which is a terrible gaming laptop.
Back in 2019, I also wanted to purchase a proper gaming PC, and wrote a long series about what I thought was The Ultimate Gaming Rig. But in the end, I decided that I couldn’t justify spending what would be quite a lot of money on a gaming rig that I didn’t really have the time to use.
Well, sometimes life just decides to throw a monkey wrench into the works, and now I have plenty of spare time. So spending some money on a gaming rig is suddenly perfectly justifiable.
One of the things I decided back in 2019 was that I wanted to purchase second hand parts for the gaming rig. But when I sat down yesterday and started browsing through the second hand market, I discovered two things:
- The second hand market isn’t as big as I thought.
- The asking price for hardware is almost as high as the MSRP on new parts.
In addition to that, there’s the risk that the second hand parts are dead on arrival. This is of course a possibility when you purchase something from a retail store as well, but then the parts can just be returned and replaced. A second hand seller can decide to give you a big, fat middle finger, and I don’t have the mental capacity to deal with that right now.
The Ultimate Gaming Rig!
So quickly I gave up on the second hand market. Instead, I sat down and ordered the following spanking new parts from my favorite store:
- Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX case1
- Gigabyte B550I AORUS PRO AX motherboard
- HyperX Fury DDR4 3600MHz 16GB RAM
- Patriot Viper VPN100 1TB M.2 SSD
- AMD Ryzen 5 3600 CPU
- ASUS GeForce RTX 2060 DUAL EVO OC graphics card
- Corsair TX650M PSU2
If you’re someone who knows a lot about hardware, you probably see a list of hardware that won’t work perfectly together. I suspect that a Ryzen 7 processor would be a better match for the RTX 2060, for instance. But please don’t @ me. This is the hardware I ordered and I’ll discover my mistakes in due time anyway.
Because of the current GPU shortage, the number of available graphics cards is very limited. I ended up going quite a lot above my initial budget because of the RTX 2060, but there were no other cards in stock. The asking prices for graphics card on the second hand market are just ridiculous, often above the retail price, so I just closed my eyes and clicked “Add to basket”.
I’ve made an attempt to make the hardware a little future proof. The B550I motherboard supports the rather new PCIe 4 standard, and Ryzen CPUs all the way up to Ryzen 9. I’m only utilizing one of the motherboards two DDR4 slots with a 16GB RAM module, so I can easily add a second 16GB module if I need more RAM. This means that I should be able to upgrade the gaming rig for many years to come without having to replace the motherboard.
Onwards from Here
With a little luck, the hardware will arrive some time next week, which means I can soon spend time tinkering with it. Then I want to install some Linux distro, preferably Manjaro, but I’m not sure how well it works for gaming. If it’s too much hassle, I’ll just install Windows, perhaps as a dual boot option.
In the not-so-distant future, I also really want to make an effort to introduce computer games to my oldest daughter. Gaming gave me a lot of good times and good friends when I grew up, and I want to expand her gaming universe beyond Pokémon Go and the mindless games she sometimes plays on her tablet.
How all this turns out in the end, we’ll see. Am I getting myself a ridiculously expensive paper weight, or will my daughter become the queen of esports?